We didn't just play Nintendo in the 80s. We ate Nintendo cereal. It wasn't very good, it got soggy in air, and all of the shapes looked more like seahorses or turds than Mario, but it identified you as a rad to the extreme Nintendo player. Now you didn't have to just let your ass know how much you loved Nintendo with every painful wedgie, you could tell your spoon too. I knew a friend who had the Nintendo robot mom to pour it for him, but one day he was breast feeding and he doubled in size and grew wings. It's not a great story, I just thought it was weird the testers let her get distributed before anyone tried putting her robot boobs in their mouth.
The Nintendo Cereal System and Nintendo Power glass bowls (inset). Just in case you thought breakfast was taking away too much time from video games.
But that's nothing. I don't care if you cover your cereal with Metroid-shaped bananas and have Donkey Kong pee milk on it. You weren't a true NES fan unless you bought the $19.95 Secret Video Game Tricks, Codes, & Strategies videocassette tape hosted by "Jim and Donn." I know you think twenty dollars is a lot for a half hour video with tips on 5 or 6 games, but that's why you grew up watching WKRP in Cincinnatti and not saving princesses. Twenty dollars was nothing. We spent fifty dollars for Deadly Towers and hundreds of other games that were so bad they made us fear electricity.
And yes. On the cover of the video, holding the sword: Fabio. The Fabio.
Whoever made the video decided it needed more credibility for the hosts, and the reassuring second N at the end of Donn's name and Jim's thumbs up weren't enough. So they made up important titles for them. Donn and Jim suddenly became the U.S. National Video Game Team. And to make it official, they bought themselves matching jumpsuits. Fucking jumpsuits*. As far as I know, our country does not have a video game team. And if these two clumsy geeks are who we found to represent us, Canada finally has the weak spot they were looking for to start making fun of us.
*Recent studies do not indicate that jumpsuits increase video game performance. However, these studies show that if you put on a video game team jumpsuit, you might as well take off your genitals.
You'll notice right off that the Video Game Team members aren't very good at video games. And they don't make up for it with good broadcasting skills. If they're not reading to you from the instruction manual in fragmented sentences, they're awkwardly breathing hard into the microphone while they play. After 30 minutes of the video, you learn as much about Nintendo as you do from bathroom graffiti but without all the clever rhyming. I don't know how they got this job, I'm guessing they must be best friends with the janitor that donated his mop closet for the set. The whole damn thing is like letting a friend play your Nintendo badly with their feet. Only they don't talk, you hate them, and they're dressed like an insane housepainter.
Jim gives us a thumbs up as if to say, "It's A-OK that you're in my secret base! Thumbs up for Nintendo! Thumbs up for YOU!"
The Learning Begins
One of the first "tips" Donn gives us is that Silkworm is true to the arcade version with all of the hidden bonus points. That helps a lot, Donn. Then he stops talking and lets us watch him play for about 10 minutes. And trust me, I don't care if you've had someone sell you insurance at church, it's the longest 10 minutes of your life. It looks like the key to winning the game is NOT getting hit by enemies. This lesson is worth the $19.95 alone, since you can apply it in your regular life when you're playing in traffic or dodging the cleansing water that comes out of a "shower."